The Marina’s location of healthy, quick-service, restaurant Dabba will close at the end of May after one year in business. The second outpost of the downtown lunch spot offered more of the Indian-spiced and fusion dishes, like jerk pork burritos and blackened chicken bowls, that have been popular with SoMa workers since 2016.
Despite high marks from Marina diners, Dabba CEO Andy Mercy says a change was needed. “We‘ve decided to focus our energies on a franchise partnership that will take us to new markets,” says Mercy. That franchise partner remains unnamed due to a confidentiality agreement, but Mercy refers to it as a “well-financed” and “enthusiastic... Asian sovereign fund.”
Dabba’s downtown location remains in place, and Mercy encourages fans from the Marina to find them there, on Stevenson Street, after the closure. “We’re grateful to the Marina faithful who made our job fun and rewarding,” he adds.
Fans can also seek out similar flavors to those at Dabba over the Golden Gate Bridge at Avatar’s, the longstanding Sausalito restaurant serving a mix of Indian and Mexican foods. Avatar’s and owner Ashok Kumar inspired Mercy to start Dabba in the first place (Kumar is involved at Dabba and paid royalties and equity.)
“We’ve learned a ton in [San Francisco] that will help us succeed in other markets and overseas,” says Mercy. Going forward, “look for Dabba to pop up in some neighborhoods in the South and East Bays in the next year, as well as outside of California.”